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The Houston Black Sox
[Posted Wed. a.m.]
Boston Celtics Quiz: Name the seven to score 15,000 points in a Celtics uniform. Answer below.
MLB...the penalties are handed down...
[The following was written as the news, and opinion, came in....]
Major League Baseball, rather shockingly, levied severe penalties on the Houston Astros for their sign-stealing transgressions. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch were suspended for one season. Additionally, the Astros were fined $5 million.
But MLB also took away their first- and second-round draft picks in the 2020 and 2021 drafts.
It’s this last part I really found surprising with the severity of it. I would have thought maybe the first-round pick for two years, but four top picks is harsh...and we love it!
[But then reality hit…this is incredibly depressing for those of us who love the sport.]
MLB also said if Luhnow or Hinch “engage in any future material violations” of MLB rules, they will be placed on the league’s permanently ineligible list.
Houston owner Jim Crane then fired both Luhnow and Hinch.
“Neither one of them started this, but neither one of them did anything about it,” Crane said. He added: “We need to move forward with a clean slate.”
Crane said that he did not think the Astros’ World Series title in 2017 was “tainted.”
MLB’s investigation found that Crane was unaware of the sign-stealing activities by his team.
No players were disciplined, and while new Mets manager Carlos Beltran was part of the investigation, he was a player for Houston at the time and not suspended, though he is the only Astros player named in Monday’s report as being among those who discussed how “the team could improve on decoding opposing teams’ signs and communicating the signs to the batter.”
MLB found that the Astros continued to cheat into the 2018 regular season, but not during the 2019 postseason, when Houston defeated the Yankees in the ALCS.
As for Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the Astros’ bench coach during the 2017 season, he faces severe punishment for not just 2017, but his role in 2018 as he led Boston to a World Series title in his first season at the helm.
Two teams have a right to be extremely upset; the Yankees, who lost to Houston in seven in the ALCS in 2017, and the Dodgers for losing to the Astros in 2017, and then Cora’s Red Sox in 2018. It’s just not fair.
Former major leaguer Logan Morrison, now in the Brewers’ organization, said the scheme involving Houston players banging loudly on trash cans in their dugout to signal to hitters the upcoming pitch type, started well before 2017.
“I was playing with Seattle in 2014 and every time we went into Houston you would hear this banging,” Morrison tweeted. “No one put two and two together. Seattle fans may remember we came with in (sic) a game of going to the playoffs. Felix should have won a Cy young (sic) that year. But couldn’t get pasted (sic) the 5th in Houston.
“I know from first hand accounts that the Yankees, Dodgers, Astros, and Red Sox all have used film to pick signs. Just want you guys to know the truth. I personally think it’s a tool in a tool belt to pick signs, but if we are going to be punishing people for it. Don’t half ass it.”
For his part, Jeff Luhnow issued a statement, saying, “I am not a cheater. Anybody who has worked closely with me during my 32-year career inside and outside baseball can attest to my integrity. I did not know rules were being broken. As the commissioner said in his statement, I did not personally direct, oversee or engage in any misconduct.
“The sign-stealing initiative was not planned or directed by baseball management; the trash-can banging was driven and executed by players, and the video decoding of signs originated and was executed by lower-level employees working with the bench coach. I am deeply upset that I wasn’t informed of any misconduct because I would have stopped it.”
In his statement, AJ Hinch said: “As a leader and Major League manager, it is my responsibility to lead players and staff with integrity that represents the game in the best possible way. While the evidence consistently showed I didn’t endorse or participate in the sign stealing practices I failed to stop them and I am deeply sorry.”
Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“For three years we’ve wondered, and now we know.
“How did the Houston Astros’ hitters so easily pound three of the Dodgers’ hottest pitchers in two key games in Houston in the 2017 World Series?
“How did they so easily wreck Yu Darvish for four runs in the second inning of a Game 3 Astros victory? How did they so effortlessly score 10 runs against Clayton Kershaw and Brandon Morrow in the Game 5 victory?
“They cheated, that’s how.
“They used technology at Minute Maid Park to steal the Dodgers’ signs. Their hitters know what pitches were coming. They gleefully pounced on them. They accumulated 18 runs with 26 hits and six home runs in two series-changing victories that have now indelibly stamped an asterisk on an event forever marred by a sickening truth.
“The Dodgers were cheated out of the 2017 World Series championship.
“This is not sour grapes. This is not revisionist history. This is now and forever fact after a Major League Baseball investigation revealed Monday that the Astros used technology to cheat during their championship season....
“The Dodgers were jobbed out of a championship that would have ended a 29-year drought, and what is MLB going to do about that?
“The Dodgers won’t get to claim the title. That damage has already been done. That parade has already been lost. But the Astros should be forced to hand the Commissioner’s Trophy back to Commissioner Rob Manfred right now, vacate the title and forever leave that space in the record books as empty as the organization’s integrity.
“The Dodgers didn’t win it on the field, but history should forever note that nobody beat them....
“Clearly, nobody knows what would have happened if the Astros hadn’t cheated. And, yes, the record will show that the Dodgers eventually lost the World Series in a Game 7 meltdown at Dodger Stadium that did not involve confirmed Astros technological cheating.
“But judging from the oddities of those middle three games in Houston – something was eerily wrong with Darvish, Kershaw and Morrow – there never should have been a Game 7. If the Astros had not cheated in Houston, it says here the Dodgers would have won the series in six....
“The Astros cheated the title-starved Dodgers of far more than a championship. They stole a legacy. They robbed history. They changed the sports narrative of this city forever.
“Seriously, why is that Commissioner’s Trophy still in their Houston offices? Why can’t they at least have the decency to give it back?
“Better yet, the worthless thing should be tossed in a dugout trash can that the Dodgers can bang with a bat.”
Buster Olney / ESPN
“The grumbling around the game was thick after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred rendered discipline in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing case Monday, because while two individuals got hammered, the institution that stood to glean enormous benefit from the systemic illicit behavior was mostly left untouched, the players who participated left unscathed.
“The Astros are sill 2017 World Series champions, a title won with cheating. They still possess the financial benefit from their on-field success – the additional revenue pulled in during and after October runs, with the dollar magnets attached to ratings, sponsorships, memorabilia, swag and the consumer enthusiasm that spilled over into the following seasons.
“The $5 million fine of the franchise, the most allowed under the rules, is inconsequential – and, as one staffer noted, more than offset by the salaries of manager AJ Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow that won’t be paid. The loss of two draft picks in each of the next two years is mitigated by Houston’s stature in the standings: The Astros will pick near the back of each round. There is sentiment in the sport that the commissioner should’ve taken at least one more step to affect the Astros’ ability to compete and stripped Houston’s spending power in the upcoming international signing market. Even after the loss of Hinch, the Astros will move ahead as favorites to win the AL West again.
“In the minds of a lot of peers around the sport, that’s not enough to offset the damage they caused with their cheating. Here’s a partial list of the scarring, and those scarred.
“1. The credibility of recent baseball history. As players from the ‘90s know, a lot of the accomplishments from that time are met with eye rolls from many fans, because no one has defined – nor will ever define – how the saturation of performance-enhancing drugs impacted the game. All records from that time are lumped together in conversation, as if the whole sport was dirty. The integrity of that era is forever compromised.
“The Astros’ cheating will have the same effect on moments in recent years....The other day, when we posted a ranking of the top 10 second basemen in baseball and Jose Altuve was ranked second, the social media responses were immediate, just as they were for Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds and others: But he’s a cheater.
“2. Individual opponents. Aaron Judge finished second to Altuve in the 2017 MVP balloting, and we’ll never know how the cheating affected that....Clayton Kershaw gave up a big lead in Game 5 of the 2017 World Series in Houston – if the Dodgers had won that day, if they had won the World Series, Kershaw’s postseason record and legacy would be completely different....
“3. Mike Fiers....For the rest of Fiers’ career, he’ll have to deal with the whispers from some peers angrily complaining about him, when what they should do is reach out to apologize to him for how they compromised his experience....
“Even if he had no involvement, Justin Verlander’s one championship in a Hall of Fame career will be forever tarnished.
“4. The fans. Forget for a moment the whole issue of squandered cost, of dollars and time spent. How about how the sign-stealing scandal rattles and wrecks the perception of fans, young or old, about what they saw and what they experienced?....
“5. The Astros and their future. They will be unintended victims of their own crime, unanticipated collateral damage. Because every movement across a visiting ballpark will feel a little like a perp walk, with fans justifiably yelling harsh truth at them. After they won the 2017 World Series, the conversation about the athletic, dynamic Astros was about whether they should be ranked among the greatest teams ever. Now they are on the short list of baseball history.”
Thomas Boswell / Washington Post
“The Houston Astros cheated during the 2017 season when they won the World Series... The Boston Red Sox are under investigation for cheating during the 2018 season, when they won the World Series.
“Do you void the Astros’ 2017 title? Do you award it to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who lost that World Series? Even if you did, what Dodgers player or fan would truly feel that they suddenly had been transformed into champs by fiat? What are the reparations to the New York Yankees, who were beaten in the American League Championship Series by the Astros?
“If the Red Sox are also found guilty and punished as dramatically as the Astros already have been – with suspended executives, lost draft picks and multimillion-dollar fines – do we void Boston’s 2018 title? Or do we forever think of the Red Sox as an asterisk champion?
“Such questions can, and will, be asked and argued for years. And no one will approach a satisfying answer.
“This scandal is a perfect illustration of why cheating in professional sports is so bad. It ruins everything. There is no way to fix the damage. And that scar across a sport’s visage is permanent, as with the World Series 101 years ago that is still known by just two words; Black Sox.
“That is why it is so important to make every effort to catch cheaters and crush those who get caught with penalties that get the attention of the next person who is tempted to do the same. We never seem to understand the true weight of the phrase ‘integrity of the game’ until some team or player tries to rip it to shreds to win.
“At moment such as this, we vaguely realize that the entire construct of organized pro sports is artificial, almost a tenuously balanced house of cards. You don’t have to knock down much of the edifice before fans, also known as customers, have reason to say, ‘Remind me again why am I paying attention to this.’
“If an MLB, NFL, NBA, or NHL contest isn’t on the square – or if we can’t at least assume that there is a 99.9 percent chance that it is on the level – then that game is nothing. It merits zero attention.
“MLB’s punishment of the Astros...has been a giant boulder heaved into the center of the lake and our pro games. The ripples of consequence extend toward the shores in all directions....
“Those who are too dumb or venal to know the damage they are risking must be slapped awake in simple terms they are capable of understanding. Every attempt will be made to catch you, and if you are caught, you will be severely punished.
“It took baseball almost 20 years to learn that lesson during its PED era. To this day, and forever, no one will ever be able to make sense of the game’s record book, now smeared with phony honors. It’s unfixable. If any good whatsoever came from that period, perhaps we finally saw it Monday. Baseball woke up, investigated and caught its cheaters, even if it meant tarnishing one title and perhaps another.
“Keep it up.”
Well, last night, the Red Sox announced they had fired manager Alex Cora.
“Given the findings and the Commissioner’s ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways,” the Red Sox said in a statement attributed to owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, CEO Sam Kennedy and Cora.
So this leaves Carlos Beltran as the most prominent person named in the report issued Monday to still have a significant job title. The Mets have to fire him. As I go to post, however, no word on his status. He was a ringleader behind the scheme. He also lied to Mets management when he was being interviewed about his knowledge of it.
--One free agent note...the last big one still on the market, Josh Donaldson, signed a four-year, $92 million deal with the Twins (four years at $84 million with an $8 million buyout on a fifth year option – valued at $16 million that would push the contract’s total to $100m if exercised).
The 34-year-old third baseman slammed 37 home runs with 94 RBIs for the Braves and was being pursued by Atlanta, Washington and the Twinkies.
LSU 42...Clemson 25...
Your Heisman Trophy winner, Joe Burrow, could not have performed more spectacularly when it mattered most as LSU captured its third national championship (2007 and 1958 the others).
After LSU’s offense gained just 17 yards total on its first three possessions, Clemson up 7-0, and then 17-7, the Tigers from Baton Rouge began to roll, Burrow engineering scoring drives of 75, 87 and 95 yards to put LSU up 28-17 at the half. Then after Clemson cut it to 28-25 with 10:49 to go in the third, Burrow coolly iced it with his fourth and fifth touchdown passes of the evening, giving him 60 on the year, a new FBS record.
Burrow was 31/49, 463, 5-0; plus another 58 yards on the ground and another score.
His main targets, Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, were 9-221-2 and 9-106, respectively.
Burrow thus completed what many are calling the single-best season for a college quarterback, 402/527, 76.3%, 5,671 yds., 60-6.
His receivers Chase and Jefferson weren’t bad either.
Chase: 84 receptions, 1,780 yards, 21.2 avg., 20 touchdown receptions.
Jefferson: 111-1,540, 13.9, 18 touchdown receptions.
LSU gained 628 yards off a defense that had allowed 264 yards and 11.5 points per game. And in finishing up 15-0, the Tigers beat seven top 10 teams, an FBS record, and thus can stake their claim to being one of the top 2 or 3 teams in college football history. I can't rank them first overall when you are talking about different eras. Some of those Oklahoma, Nebraska and USC teams were pretty good, too, growing up.
As for Clemson, with Burrow off to the Cincinnati Bengals and Trevor Lawrence returning, they are the odds-on favorite to win it next season.
Ohio State 7-1...Justin Fields back
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“The first volley of confetti had already been liberated from the Superdome ceiling, and a good two-thirds of the 76,885 inside were beginning a celebration that wouldn’t end until well past the other side of midnight, somewhere in the inviting quarters of the French Quarter.
“Ed Orgeron’s quarterback, a kid from Ohio named Joe Burrow, took the final knee of the football season, and that’s when the sound inside this massive old dome hit Defcon 2. The clock melted to zero, the scoreboard all but screamed alongside the faithful of the winning pride of tigers: LSU 42, Clemson 25. That was forever. That was for keeps.
“ ‘Oh boy,’ Ed Orgeron said to himself, as he began the fateful jog to midfield, where he would be greeted with a bear-hug by Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, a man who has twice known exactly what was percolating inside Ed Orgeron’s heart. Two of his sons, Cody and Parker, grabbed Orgeron’s arms. His wife, Kelly, put her arm around him. They all jogged together.
“ ‘COACH O!’ a large chunk of faithful began chanting from the very top of the building, cascading down. In New Orleans and Baton Rouge and West Monrow and Lafourche Paris, all the Louisiana places where LSU football means so very much to so very many, they spell that ‘Coach Eaux,’ of course. There may be no place in the country where a coach and a fan base share so much.
“ ‘One team, one heartbeat, baby!’ he would soon yell into a microphone, minutes after officially hoisting the national championship trophy over his head, toward all the masses of purple-clad people all over the Superdome who had spent the previous four hours screaming themselves hoarse, and much of the past 15 minutes yelling, crying, laughing – the whole gamut. The fans had done that.
“And the biggest fan – Coach Eaux – had done that, too.”
As for Orgeron and Joe Burrow:
“They are the perfect pair, the quarterback and the coach. Burrow tried three times to make first string at Ohio State, finally decided to leave, picked LSU over a bowl of boiled crawfish. Orgeron? He went 10-25 at Ole Miss, went 0-8 in the SEC over his last year there. He got a second chance at USC, went 6-2 as an interim, but wasn’t hired. The USC sharpies thought his heavy Cajun accent wouldn’t play with boosters and movie stars.
“So Coach Eaux went home. He spent a year away from coaching, came back to work for Les Miles, took over when Miles was fired four games into the 2016 season. Outside Louisiana they laughed at Orgeron, they mocked LSU, they waited for this horrible idea to blow up in their faces.
“They are waiting still.”
So to put a bow on the season, the final AP Rankings:
1. LSU (62) 15-0
2. Clemson 14-1
3. Ohio State 13-1
4. Georgia 12-2
5. Oregon 12-2
6. Florida 11-2
7. Oklahoma 12-2
8. Alabama 11-2
9. Penn State 11-2
10. Minnesota 11-2...good for them
12. Notre Dame 11-2
19. Appalachian State 13-1...awesome
20. Navy 11-2
22. Air Force 11-2
This is the first time two service academies were in the final AP poll since 1958!
For Alabama, this is their lowest final ranking since 2010. [Going backwards from 2018-2010... 2,1,2,1,4,7,1,1,10.]
AFC Championship, Tennessee at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. ET...forecast for temps below freezing but no precip. [Drat! I was hoping for a Little House on the Prairie-type blizzard.]
NFC Championship, Green Bay at San Francisco, 6:40 p.m. ...temps in 50s, no precip.
--For the record, when the Chiefs were down 24-0 with less than 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter against the Texans, Kansas City coach Andy Reid said he told him team not to panic.
“I said ‘Listen, this is achievable. Step back, relax, pump the brakes for a second and refocus and let’s go.’ It’s that simple really. ...You got to get it done and no need to panic. That’s not gonna help at all. Just try to fix the problem and go along with your day.”
About ten minutes later, Patrick Mahomes had thrown four touchdown passes, joining Doug Williams as the only QBs with four TD passes in a quarter in postseason, Williams accomplishing his feat in Super Bowl XXII.
Travis Kelce caught three of Mahomes’ TD passes in the second quarter, becoming the first NFL player with three scoring catches in one period of a postseason game.
But for years to come, at least in Houston, folks will be talking about coach Bill O’Brien’s beyond head-scratching decision.
Or as Nancy Armour of USA TODAY Sports put it, Houston having built that 24-0 lead, then cut to 24-7:
“And then Bill O’Brien lost his mind – and, it will bear watching in the next few months, maybe his team....
“The Texans faced a fourth-and-4 from their own 31. Now, on the previous drive, they’d had fourth-and-1 from the Kansas City 13 and decided to kick the field goal. Surely they wouldn’t go for it in this situation, right?
“Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. All of it, SO wrong.
“Justin Reid took a direct snap and managed to gain two yards. Arrowhead Stadium, which had been stunned into silent, erupted. Helped by a 28-yard pass interference call...the Chiefs scored four plays later to pull within 24-14.
“ ‘We felt like we had a look, and it just didn’t work,’ O’Brien said.
“That would be an understatement.
“Like a snowball that just needs a push to set off an avalanche, the momentum had shifted and was rolling decidedly in the Chiefs’ favor. Where just minutes earlier they had appeared to be in danger of being run out of their own stadium, now they were running over the Texans.”
By the way, for the record, when I was writing up this game Sunday, I didn’t put down that the 24-point comeback was the largest in Kansas City’s history, and also made the Chiefs the first team to be trailing by 24 and come back to lead or tie at halftime.
New AP Poll (records thru Sun.)
1. Gonzaga (30) 18-1...1574 points
2. Baylor (31) 13-1...1567
3. Duke (4) 15-1
4. Auburn 15-0
5. Butler 15-1
6. Kansas 12-3
7. San Diego State 17-0
8. Oregon 14-3
9. Florida State 14-2
10. Kentucky 12-3
11. Louisville 13-3
12. West Virginia 13-2...up 5
13. Dayton 14-2
14. Villanova 12-3
15. Michigan State 13-4
16. Wichita State 15-1...up 7
17. Maryland 13-3
18. Seton Hall 12-4...up 8!
19. Michigan 11-5
20. Colorado 13-3...up 5
21. Ohio State 11-5...down 10
If you carry out the votes, Virginia fell to 30 and Penn State to 31.
Well, at least for one week your editor doesn’t look so stupid for his Seton Hall and Colorado picks, does he?...cough cough...
And last night, after snapping a 59-game losing streak at Chapel Hill, Clemson (9-7, 3-3) returned home and upset Duke (15-2, 5-1), 79-72. A nice way to salve the wounds from losing the national championship to LSU.
San Diego State moved to 18-0 with a 64-55 win on the road at Fresno State.
--What a wild two weeks in Hawaii for the PGA Tour, both late finishes on Sunday evening in prime time throughout the U.S.
After Justin Thomas won the Tournament of Champions in a playoff with Patrick Reed and Xander Schauffele, Cameron Smith took down Brendan Steele in a playoff late Sunday night at the Sony Open at Waialae, the Aussie Smith’s second tour win. [Steele choked down the stretch, hurt in part by the play of Ryan Palmer, whose hideous approach on 18 led to a ridiculously long delay for Steele, playing with Smith. Smith handled the situation well, Steele didn’t, allowing Smith to tie him in regulation and then lost on the first playoff hole with another bad shot.]
Smith, some of you will recall, was the most vociferous of the International Team members at the Presidents Cup in calling out Reed for his cheating incident at Tiger’s event in December. The 26-year-old has been described as having “a certain rough-around-the-edges toughness,” Smith coming from a blue collar background in Brisbane.
So what we want is to have a playoff somewhere along the line between Smith and Reed, or the two in the final pairing of any event.
The next five weeks are on the west coast (and Scottsdale).
--Tiger Woods will be making his 2020 PGA Tour debut in a week at Torrey Pines (Jan. 23-26). He will then take two weeks off before teeing it up at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, Feb. 13-16.
So hopefully Tiger is in the hunt come the weekend at Torrey Pines, at least from the standpoint of ratings, because that is the week off prior to the Super Bowl. The Genesis tourney, with football long over, kind of has the sports spotlight to itself. [No, I doubt I’ll be watching the NBA All-Star Game that Sunday. Plus “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will be back. Don’t forget, the new season starts this Sunday on HBO, 10:30 p.m.]
--Australia’s bush fires were already doing a number on the Australian Open qualifying matches on Tuesday, causing one player to double over in coughing fits during a match as the fires and the smoke enveloped Melbourne. Play on Tuesday did continue despite air quality readings that were in the unhealthy range. No telling how the full tournament, the opening Grand Slam event of the year, will play out.
--USCHO Div. I College Hockey Poll (as of Sunday)
T-1. North Dakota
5. Boston College
6. Penn State
8. Minnesota Duluth
9. Ohio State
--The Knicks held one of those halftime half-court shot contests the other day and Anthony Peterson drained it. A few days earlier, a fan in Los Angeles won $100,000 for the same shot at a Lakers game, but Peterson’s prize was truly special. He won 200 scratch off tickets. His take? $500.
Yup, that sums up the Knicks these days. Peterson said, “I thought about who I could hire to (scratch off all the tickets). I was sort of like, ‘What the f--- man? Some dude just won $100,000 doing the same s—t in L.A., and I get some bum ass lottery tickets.’ Still a blessing though.”
Peterson said he used the money in a dice game and won $70 off his friends. [Source: The Action Network]
--A North Carolina man was bitten by a shark while surfing off the Outer Banks on Monday, the injuries not considered life-threatening. The man and his cousin said they had never spotted a shark during the winter months in these waters, but the water temp was about 60 degrees.
The International Shark Attack File says there have been 65 shark attacks in North Carolina since the 1930s, but these folks, as I’ve pointed out since day one of Bar Chat, are shills for the International Tourism Cartel (ITC). The correct number is more like 42,424...with 8,000 missing.
--Back to the LSU Tigers, the Wall Street Journal’s Ben Cohen and Andrew Beaton had a piece on Monday that LSU was not just ranked No. 1, but it was No. 1 in college football in drinking beer.
LSU fans consumed 55,000 beers in one October game, and then the next home contest at Tiger Stadium, they consumed 60,687 beers, according to a university spokesman.
As Cohen and Beaton note, this second game “reminded the nation that LSU has always been at the top of the polls when it comes to boozing.”
This was the first season the SEC allowed member schools to sell alcohol in their football stadiums. “It was a policy shift worth millions of dollars to LSU: Selling booze in Tiger Stadium is a bit like selling water in a desert.
“But when the LSU faithful invade other college towns, they have a nasty habit of leaving wreckage behind. They beat your football team. And then they drink your beer.
“The first statistical evidence for LSU’s drinking aptitude came in 2011, when the Tigers played at West Virginia, one of the first schools in the country that sold beer. The stadium sold $255,396 worth of booze that day – or 82% higher than the average of the other games in 2011....
“West Virginia has never seen anything like LSU, according to the Wall Street Journal’s analysis of the university’s beer records, built on data obtained through state open-record laws. In the sample of 58 games reviewed by the Journal, the LSU game was by far the biggest outlier within any season.”
When LSU took on Georgia in the SEC championship in Atlanta, “Lee Kicker, an LSU alumnus in the city for a security conference (that week), felt it was his duty to share intelligence with the bartenders at the Marriott marquis, a hotel that was about to be swarmed by LSU fans. Kicker informed them of an imminent attack on their beer.
“ ‘I was trying to give them a warning,’ he said. ‘However much you think you need, double it. And maybe you’ll have enough.’
“He turned out to be prescient. The Marriott Marquis scrambled to replenish the hotel’s beer supply as rumors of a drought spread on social media. And the hotel was ready when LSU fans came back a month later for the College Football Playoff semifinal. The Tigers won – and the Marriott Marquis doubled its alcohol sales from last year’s Peach Bowl.”
And this story is too much.
“Michael Sterchak, an officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, was not projecting booze-related problems when he and his future wife decided to get married in a place that happens to know something about beer: Wisconsin. They spent months planning every detail for their 2016 wedding at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, but there was one thing they didn’t account for. LSU was playing Wisconsin that same night in nearby Green Bay.
“Sterchak began to suspect there would be a problem when one of his groomsmen called him early on the morning of wedding day and told him to get downstairs to see the LSU fans crowding the lobby and emptying the bar. Soon a hotel staffer came to Sterchak with bad news: ‘We ran out of beer.’ It was before noon.
“This was not something he wanted to think about hours before his wedding. By the time he was dressed, the wedding planner had better news: There was still beer in Milwaukee, the bar had replenished and the hotel would position security officers outside the reception to police wedding crashers in purple and gold. ‘They mobilized like it was the National Guard,’ Sterchak said.”
Needless to say, you can expect that some of the stories to have emerged out of New Orleans on Monday night will be of the variety passed down to generations of bartenders and restaurateurs in the Big Easy.
You’re reading Bar Chat....
Top 3 songs for the week of 1/13/62: #1 “The Twist” (Chubby Checker) #2 “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (The Tokens) #3 “Peppermint Twist” (Joey Dee & the Starliters)...and...#4 “Can’t Help Falling In Love” (Elvis Presley) #5 “I Know (You Don’t Love Me No More)” (Barbara George) #6 “Happy Birthday, Sweet Sixteen” (Neil Sedaka) #7 “Walk On By” (Leroy Van Dyke) #8 “Run To Him” (Bobby Vee) #9 “Unchain My Heart” (Ray Charles) #10 “When The Boy In Your Arms (Is The Boy In Your Heart)” (Connie Francis...four lads from Liverpool were stirring things up in clubs in the UK and in Germany...George Martin working on making them more professional...Ringo is now drummer...)
Boston Celtics Quiz: Seven to score 15,000 points in a Celtics uniform....
John Havlicek 26395
Paul Pierce 24021
Larry Bird 21791
Robert Parish 18245
Kevin McHale 17335
Bob Cousy 16955
Sam Jones 15411
Bill Russell 14522
Dave Cowens 13192
Jo Jo White 13188
Next Bar Chat, Monday.